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Friday, December 28, 2012

Cheers to the new wineskin


As we look forward to the coming year, “striving for a better marriage” is likely to appear on your resolution list. We must keep in mind that any resolution without revelation will result in delusion and frustration.  If we try to “do better” at anything in the flesh, we will fizzle out and fail.
The secret to achieving any goal that we desire is found in Luke 5:37-39:                        
37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; or else the new wine will burst the wineskins and be spilled, and the wineskins will be ruined. 38 But new wine must be put into new wineskins, and both are preserved. 39 And no one, having drunk old wine, immediately desires new; for he says the old is better.”
Understanding the revelation of the new covenant- In Luke 5:33, the Pharisees had questioned Jesus about fasting. “Then they said to Him, “Why do the disciples of John fast often and make prayers, and likewise those of the Pharisees, but Yours eat and drink?” In verse 34, Jesus responded, “And He said to them, “Can you make the friends of the bridegroom fast while the bridegroom is with them?
Jesus wanted to differentiate between the old and the new covenant. Instead of responding to this isolated thought, He addressed the source of their thinking. The Pharisees were still operating under the old covenant, observing the law for the sake of the law. His illustration invited them to experience a paradigm shift. If we seek the face of our bridegroom, the law will be overshadowed by the presence of love.  
We must not view our marriage as a “to do” or “not to do” list for we will fall into the snare of legalism. We will inevitably hurt each other through the magnification of our flaws and shortcomings. However, if we seek the heart of our spouse, we will naturally want to do the things that please him or her. Change your perspective to loving your spouse and the little things will automatically fall into place.
Embracing an attitude of change through humility- Luke 5:39 illuminates the source of strongholds: “And no one having drunk the old wine, immediately desires new; for he says the old is better.” In order for meaningful change to take place there has to be a recognition that the old way of thinking is no longer working. Examine your heart for areas of stubbornness, old habits, and stale routines. In doing so, you must be careful to not to criticize your spouse, but rather ask God to examine your own heart. Pray Psalms 23-24 over your soul, “23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; 24 And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.”
Unfortunately, some of the happiest memories couples have are contained in the honeymoon period. Although on the surface, this does not appear enigmatic, but it actually reflects the truth of Luke 5:39.  If we believe that the happiest days are behind us, we believe the “old wine” is better. We must desire the “new wine” that God has for our marriage. The desire will come when we believe the truth of God’s promise. Isaiah 43:19 says, “Behold, I will do a new thing, Now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”
Ask God to “Catch the Foxes”- Song of Solomon 2:15 says, “Catch us the foxes, The little foxes that spoil the vines, For our vines have tender grapes.” The enemy knows your areas of weakness and will try to ruin the fruit that is blossoming in your marriage. Ask the LORD to catch the foxes that are designed to nibble at the fruit of the Spirit that is growing in you—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness. It is often the “little” things—worry, aggravation, and annoyances that try to eat away at our soul. Let God catch them for you this year.

 

           
 


 

 

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Marriage is Alive


In order for marriage to rise to the place which God has ordained, we must experience a dynamic paradigm shift in how we view marriage. Instead of approaching it as a sterile structure or an invisible institution, we must embrace its intrinsic value as a living organism. Marriage is alive. To recognize this is an important prerequisite because of the undeniable implications that follow:


1)      Marriage has inalienable rights- We must search for its pulse, and witness its right to exist. Marriage was not created by man, but established by God. Consequently, marriage cannot be redefined. Man simply does not have the power to redefine an absolute created by the Creator. The DNA of marriage is uniquely designed and cannot be altered.


2)      Marriage is filled with the Breath of God- God spoke marriage into existence. It does not merely consist of the breath of man joined to the breath of woman, but it is the very breath of God that sustains the life of a marriage. Just as a flute is nothing more than a hollow reed without the breath of the flutist, our marriage is devoid of meaning without the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Job 33:4 says, “The Spirit of God hath made me, and the breath of the Almighty hath given me life.” Just as the flute produces a sound as the air stream travels down the piping, the interplay of two souls led by the Spirit will determine the unique sound your marriage makes. Each marriage has a creative expression. Throughout the song of your marriage, you will inevitably have major and minor keys, but when God is the Instrumentalist, you can expect a triumphant resolution.

 
3)       Marriage has a voice- The degree to which our marriage is open to the will of God determines the message conveyed to others. Isaiah 40:3 says. “The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the LORD, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.” When we submit to the divine order of marriage and fulfill our roles as God intended, we point others to God by representing Him in the earth.


4)      Marriage requires continual nourishment to survive- Just as our physical bodies require daily nutrients, we must be cognizant of the areas our marriage is lacking. Leg cramps can be brought on by potassium deficiencies. Too often, we try to treat the symptoms of pain in our marriage without tracing back to the source. Is there pain or distance in your marriage? What spiritual or emotional nutrients are you missing?


5)      Marriage has eyesight - Although each individual brings visions and dreams into the marriage, there must be an overarching vision that includes both. God is the one who gives visions and dreams and only He can see the whole picture. As we press into His vision for our lives, He restores our sight so we can have direction for the path ahead.  I have always been intrigued by the passage of Mark 8:22-25, “And He cometh to Bethsaida; and they bring a blind man unto Him, and besought Him to touch him. And He took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when He had spit on his eyes, and put His hands upon him, He asked him if he saw ought. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that He put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored, and saw every man clearly.” I was talking to my husband about this passage the other day, and he had an interesting interpretation. Although many interpret this passage as a progressive miracle where the blind man’s sight was partially restored with the first act and completely restored with the second, could there be another explanation? Adam mentioned perhaps instead of one miracle, there were two—where Jesus first restored the man’s spiritual sight and then restored his natural sight. Perhaps this man was seeing into the spirit realm—viewing men as God views them, as trees of righteousness. In marriage, our spiritual vision must first be restored. Jesus has to take us by the hand and lead us out of the town of our small thinking. He desires to heal us both spiritually and physically. We must see ourselves as God sees us to reclaim our identity. Once we know who we are, we will understand our purpose and our destiny.
 

 

 

 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Change Manifests through Thankfulness

Whenever we desire something more than what we have, I have noticed this prevailing dualistic truth to be evident. Change is brewing and God's plan and the enemy's plan seem more pronouced and diametrically opposed than ever. These crossroads of life can make you feel confined, and if you choose to stay there, you will feel claustrophobic in the Spirit, as if in an airless place, because God's wind of the Spirit is blowing down another path.

During these strategic junctures in the Spirit, Adam and I will experience a tangible welling sensation of frustration and dissatisfaction. I begin to list out my grievances, ad nauseum, in a cacaphony of complaints. Adam starts to feel disheartened, as if his dreams, hopes and desires are just beyond is reach. Inevitably, when we both feel like this, we end up hurting each other's feelings in one way or another.

Then, like an insurance adjuster surveying the damage, we are faced with the deleterious effects on our faith and unity. God showed me the moment we identify the feeling of frustration originating in our hearts, we are presented with a critical decision that can easily be overlooked if we are not on guard. If we choose to voice the enemy's plan of anger and hopelessness, we are the ones that have created that negative reality with our own breath. On the other hand, if we channel that frustration through united prayer and intercession, we can birth forth a positive change.

God quickened our hearts that we must first express thanksgiving to Him for what He has already provided for us before He can give us more. Philippians 4:6 says, "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." This verse gives us insight into receiving the petitions of our heart. Anything we ask, we must present to God with thanksgiving.

This is an important truth because when we are thankful it accentuates the true nature of God, strong in power and might. Psalm 95:2 says, "Let us come before His presence with thanksgiving; Let us shout joyfully to Him with psalms." In order for God's presence to manifest, we must come to Him with thanksgiving. When we are complaining and frustrated that God is not moving, we should not be confused. Just like oil and water, God's holiness cannot mix with our complaining and unbelief. II Corinthians 6:14 says, "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what comunion has light with darkness?" Human nature wants God to respond to our complaints rather than us respond to His grace and Word. Our ways are simply not His ways.

The moment we choose to open our mouths in thanksgiving, God's presence can rush in to help us in our time of need and grant us the happiness we desire. He is more than able to do that which concerns us and wants to shower us with magnificent gifts that we know not of.

I am starting a journal of thanksgiving to both boost my faith in God's faithful provision, and to give His most excellent Name praise. I think it will be encouraging to read the entries at the end of each month to see God's hand over our lives.

I Chronicles 16:8-12, " 8 Oh, give thanks to the LORD! Call upon His name; Make known His deeds among the peoples! 9 Sing to Him, sing psalms to Him; Talk of all His wondrous works! 10 Glory in His holy name; Let the hearts of those rejoice who seek the LORD! 11 Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face evermore! 12 Remember His marvelous works which He has done, His wonders, and the judgments of His mouth,"



Thursday, August 16, 2012

Don't Look Back

There will be times in your marriage when the enemy will tempt you to look at your past situations. The enemy doesn't want you to move on when you find yourself in hard circumstances, but rather wallow in shame, self-pity, and regret.

I have always been intrigued by the Bible passage about Lot and his wife in Genesis 19. Verse 15 says, "When the morning dawned, the angels urged Lot to hurry, saying, "Arise, take your wife and your two daughters who are here, lest you be consumed in the punishment of the city." It is significant that the angels appeared to Lot in the morning. Morning symbolizes a new beginning.

God never desired for us to be weighed down by the confusion of the night, but to rise in the new mercy of the morning. God's judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah was the "punishment of the city." As Christians, we must live in the grace of the new covenant. If we dwell in the city of condemnation, we have chosen to suffer a punishment that has already been paid. II Corinthians 5:21 says, "God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God" (NIV).

Genesis 19:16, "And while he lingered, the men took hold of his hand, his wife's hand, and the hands of his two daughters, the LORD being merciful to him, and they brought and set him outside the city." In this passage it tells us that they "lingered" after being instructed of the LORD to go. When we get discouraging news, our flesh wants to linger in the pit of disappointment. Despite our disobedience, God is still so merciful, He takes our hand and rescues us. Psalm 40:2 says, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." God sets us outside of the path of destruction.

Genesis 19:17 says, "So it came to pass, when they had brought them outside, that he said, "Escape for your life! Do not look behind you nor stay anywhere in the plain. Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed." God is again giving an additional warning, giving this family an opportunity to obey His voice through free will. Notice it says, "do not look behind." When we look behind at a past circumstance, we give the enemy open access to our minds. Satan has always wanted to make us doubt God's Word for us. When we look behind, we try to take the position of God. We start to question God. "Why did you allow this to happen?" If we are not trusting God, then we are judging God. Disappointment arises when your time table is different than God's time table.

The last sentence of verse 17 says, "Escape to the mountains, lest you be destroyed." On top of a mountain, you have an ariel view. That which looked so big, suddenly appears small. God wants to take you to a place of faith that is higher than what we view with our natural eyes. Our human thoughts about a situation are simply not God's thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 says, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways."Without trusting God, we are helpless and hopeless. But opening our hearts to trust God's plan brings us hope. Psalm 121:1-2 says, "I lift my eyes to the mountains--where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth."

Genesis 19:18-22 says, 18 "Then Lot said to them, 'Please, no, my lords!" 19 Indeed now, your servant has found favor in your sight, and you have increased your mercy which you have shown me by saving my life; but I cannot escape to the mountains, lest some evil overtake me and I die. 20 See now, this city is near enough to flee to, and it is a little one; please let me escape there (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live." 21 And he said to him, "See, I have favored you concerning this thing also, in that I will not overthrow this city for which you have spoken. 22 Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there." Therefore, the name of the city was called Zoar.

"Zoar" means "small" or "insignificance." Lot called on God's mercy, which He granted. However, Lot did not want God's best for his life, but rather chose to live in the smallness and insignificance of his own plan.

Genesis 19:23-26 says, 23 "The sun had risen upon the earth when Lot entered Zoar. 24 Then the LORD rained brimstone and fire on Sodom and Gomorrah, from the LORD out of the heavens. 25 So He overthrew those cities, all the plain, all the inhabitants of the cities, and what grew on the ground."
26 But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt."

Let's look at the applications of Lot's wife becoming a "pillar of salt." A pillar is immovable. When we choose to stubbornly look back at the disappointment of a situation, it paralyzes us from moving forward. We become stuck and cannot move forward with the life that God has for us. A pillar carries the heaviness of a building. When we choose to think about a regret, we invite the spirit of heaviness to descend upon us. If we continue to dwell on the past we will be like "salt" when the flood waters come, we will dissolve under the pressures of life.

There may be things we don't understand, but we still have to trust and obey! Oswald Chambers said, "Beware of reasoning about God's Word--Obey It." God has already looked down the road of your future. It is bright, glorious, victorious, and joyful, but you have to obey Him to find it.

~Luke 11:28, "But He said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and keep it!"





Thursday, July 26, 2012

He's No Chicken: Honoring Dan Cathy's Courageous Stand

The wording of the title for an article in the New York Times, Chick-fil-A Thrust Back into the Spotlight on Gay Rights, reveals the covert roots of confusion that have expertly hidden the truth of this volatile issue for decades. Christians do not seek to exclude or suppress gays, but rather liberate all to the knowledge that the Word of God is the only absolute truth. For years, Christians have been labeled as “bigots” accused of being intolerant, anti-gay, and prejudiced. We, as Christians do not have a hate agenda against gays, we have a love agenda for God. Although Christians are facing aggressive persecution for upholding our beliefs, all you will hear from the media is how outrageous it is that we are oppressing the gays.
When we uphold our beliefs, it is not from a stance of pride, but from a place of humility for what the Word of God says. As we take a stand for Christ, we bow before His throne. Do not be deceived. The battle is not between gays and Christians, the battle is between you and God. We do not have to defend ourselves. Jesus did not defend Himself when hurled with mockery and false accusations. He simply said, “It is written…” If you choose to deny the Word of God, you deny Jesus, Himself. John 1:1 says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
Either you believe the Word of God is divinely inspired and that we are accountable or you don’t. I Corinthians 6:9-10 says, “Do you not know what the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”
Dan Cathy, President of Chick-fil-A knows the power of the Psalm 111:10, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; A good understanding have all those who do His commandments. His praise endures forever.” In a recent radio interview, Mr. Cathy said, “As it relates to society in general, I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, “We know better than You as to what constitutes marriage.” It is interesting and apparent that the author of this New York Times article does not share the same fear of the LORD by the intentional usage of lower-case pronouns when referencing God in Cathy’s quote. The New York Times quote reads, “….when we shake our fist at him, We know better than you.” Whether realized or not, the attempt to redefine marriage is a form of idolatry. Idolatry is making anything other than God absolute. To protest against God’s definition of marriage is to protest against God Himself.
Many individuals that practice the homosexual lifestyle embrace their identity as “gay.” In other words, there is no delineation in their minds between what they do and who they are. This deeply entrenched lie has caused them to believe that they, as a people are suppressed and oppressed. However, Christians believe that all men are created in the image of God, and that our identity is in Christ alone. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Christians do not label individuals as “gay,” but rather separate the lifestyle from the person. We do not see ourselves as better than any other, nor do we condemn, for we are all sinners in need of a Savior. The passage in I Corinthians 6 that speaks against homosexuality goes on to say in verse 11,“And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus by the Spirit of our God.” How can one vehemently defend homosexuality if it is clearly a sin that requires one to be washed and sanctified? If you sincerely believe that gays have the right to marry, and yet you profess to believe in God, I implore you to do one thing. Simply ask God to reveal the truth to you by His Spirit. Ask the LORD,“Show me if I am wrong.”
Mr. Cathy’s courageous act of obedience should be honored and celebrated. I am confident that he knew that his faith-filled declarations would inevitably spark fiery persecutions against his name, his family, and his business, but he was willing to take up his cross and follow Jesus at any cost. He chose the narrow road. Thank-you, Mr. Cathy. May God richly bless and reward you for pleasing God rather than man.
Please show your support to Mr. Cathy by eating at Chick-fil-A regularly, and write him a letter of appreciation. You can mail it to the corporate headquarters at:
5200 Buffington Rd
Atlanta, GA 30349

Monday, July 16, 2012

Divine Multiplication

John 6:12 says, "When they were filled, He said to His disciples, "Gather up the leftover fragments so that nothing will be lost."

One practical application for this verse is to be good financial stewards of whatever God has graciously entrusted you. In my marriage, Adam is the primary financial provider, and I try to make what he brings in stretch as far as possible.

One of my hobbies that I have acquired is couponing! When you strategically and creatively match up sales with coupons, the savings can be exponential! I love my local CVS. It is only a mile from our house and always has amazing deal scenarios. I thought I would update you guys from time to time to show you just how much you can really save.

Today, I found myself in the epicenter of an awesome convergence when everything seemed to line up exquisitely in my favor!

I went into the store with a $5 CVS gift card I earned using SwagBucks. When I entered the store, I scanned my CVS card at the big red machine in the front of the store, and a CVS coupon printed off for a $5 off any $15 beauty purchase. Here's what I did:

First Transaction:

(1) CoverGirl blush @ $4.49
(1) CoverGirl eyeliner @ $5.49
(1) CoverGirl eyeliner @ $5.99

The total for these items would have been $15.97 before tax. I used my $5 off $15 beauty purchase store coupon which broughtthe total down to $10.97.

Then I used a $3 off 2 CoveGirl products coupon and a $1 off any CoverGirl product coupon found in the 7/1 Procter and Gamble insert of the newspaper. This brought my total down to $6.97. Then, I used my $5 CVS gift card I earned using SwagBucks. This lowered my total to only $1.97! With tax, I paid only $2.45! Then $5 in ECB's (extra care bucks) printed off since I purchased a minimum of $15 in CoverGirl cosmetics (a promotion running from July 15-July 21 at CVS). A coupon for extra care bucks acts like a CVS coupon that you can use on any CVS purchase with some limited exclusions. The great thing about ECB's is you can turn around and use them immediately on your next transaction!

Second Transaction:

(6) Bumble Bee Tuna Fish Cans (retail $1.87) SALE @ $0.88 a can
(1) Zest Bar Soap, 8-pack @ $3.99
(1) Wet & Wild lip liner (retail $0.99) SALE @ $0.69

The total for these items would have been $9.96. I used my $5 extra care buck coupon that printed in the previous transaction, that $4.96. I had a $0.50 off zest bar soap coupon 7/8 smartsource which I stacked with a $1 CVS coupon that I had for any bar soap/body wash. I had three $1/2 Bumble Bee product coupons that brought my total down to $0.46. With tax, I paid only $1.26!

So basically, without the sale, the retail value for both transactions would have cost $32.17. With sale prices only, the total lowers to $25.93. When you pair manufacturer coupons, store coupons, and gift cards, the total for all items before tax comes to only $2.43! Or with tax, out of pocket, $3.71!!! This is a retail savings of 92%! It definitely pays to plan ahead 15 minutes before you go shop :)


Monday, July 9, 2012

Degrees of Surrender

During my jog today, my spirit rose up and I heard the words, "You cannot be weighed down by that which you have laid down."

Over the past couple of weeks, God has been really working on my heart in the area of surrender. Oftentimes, I believe I have surrendered something, only to find my mind recirculate the very thing I had laid down, presenting it to me as a brand new concern. It begs the question, "What am I still holding on to?"

A few days ago, Adam woke up and told me about an interesting dream he had. He said there was a young child, a brunette girl, that appeared to him in a dream and told us, "You both have to baptized at the same time in water that is the same temperature."

I knew this dream contained some sort of spiritual revelation about marriage, and I believe I understand the interpretation. When we marry our spouse, there is not just a commitment, there is a baptism that must take place if we want to experience the fullness of unity. Many of us are asking God for manifold blessings to rise up in our marriage when we have not fully died to our own selfish desires. Perhaps one spouse has surrendered in an area partially, and the other has surrendered fully. This differential in surrender will result in some sort of division or wall in the marriage.

One definition of surrender is "to give up completely or agree to forgo especially in favor of another." To surrender by force is slavery; to surrender by free will is freedom. The difference between the two, of course, is slavery exists in the absence of love while freedom exists in the presence of love. When you love deeply, surrender comes naturally. Surrender is a direct response that results from a fusion of love and trust. If trust is not present, a wall of separation will erect.

This week, evaluate which areas in your marrriage that you have been "baptized together" and which areas you still need to surrender. When you wake up in the morning, do you think, "How can I make a difference in my spouse's life?" Or do you think, "How can he/she make a difference in mine?" I confess there have been many times in my marriage that I sought what Adam could give me rather than what I could give him. If one partner is only giving and the other partner is only receiving, there is inevitable lack and frustration that settles in. We have all heard the saying, "It is better to give than to receive." If you look up the word "better" in the dictionary, one meaning reads "greater than half." If you are only receiving, one partner's needs are being met at the expense of the other. However, when both partners freely give their all, there is an overflow and overabundance that gushes forth without measure.

When we concurrently lay down our dreams, our agendas, and our desires in favor of our spouse's, we will experience the blessings of a resurrected union. If you have heavy burdens in your marriage, you have not fully surrendered them to God. Because the areas that you have given Jesus full access to, there is freedom and victory. Matthew 11:30 says, "For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." If you feel something weighing you down, it is begging to be baptized. And do not worry. It is not lost. What is given to God will surely be resurrected.






Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Love is Not Glamorous

One of my all-time favorite actresses is Audrey Hepburn. She will forever be the heralded icon of glamour, grace, and style. If someone asked me to close my eyes, and imagine someone who captured effortless elegance, she would fit perfectly into the picture frame of my mind.

I think many times, wives have a picture of what marriage should look like. Females innately desire romantic chills, the frills of comfort, and compliments. But what happens when days greet you with endless bills, broke-down cars, and complaints? Is our love a strong, unchanging force, or does it darken inside the inevitable flashes of disappointment?

I am reminded that to be loved when you feel unlovely is indeed the strongest romance. Psalm 40:2 (NIV) says, "He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand." I don't know about you, but I would hazard to say that a slimy, muddy pit would not be my first choice for a romantic evening out.

We look for security and safety in so many external things, but we have to remember that love itself is our firm place to stand. It is committing to stand beside someone even when it is not easy, and choosing to be there even when it seems messy and impossible.

It is during the times when we choose to hold hands during the seemingly small empty rooms of our romance, that God opens a door to what we desire so that the glamorous events in our lives take on meaning and become memories, and not just moments. Kairos is an ancient Greek word meaning "the right or opportune moment (the supreme moment)." The ancient Greeks had two words for time, chronos and kairos. While the former refers to chronological or sequential time, the latter signifies a time in between, a moment of indeterminate time in which something special happens. What the special meaning is depends on who is using the word. Chronos is quantitative, kairos is qualitative in nature.

Many times the enemy will tempt us to look at something only through chronological lenses. Although there may seem to be natural delay, the enemy cannot touch the clock of kairos. Kairos is that special, supernatural thing that God has promised you. Only you and your spouse know just how valuable and special that thing is. The trail of tears, the pathway of prayers, and the heart beats of anticipation replace the ticking second hand on a clock. Chronos may be erased into history, but kairos never fades.

Galatians 6:9 says, "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

What is your dry place?

I woke up this morning and turned on the faucet. The ricocheting sputter of air moved through the pipes but no water. Not a drop. How frustrating!

Can the water company work on the lines unannounced like that?

Thoughts of what I would have to do without quickly filed in one after the other. No shower...how will I get ready for the day? No water for coffee (for those who know me, caffeine is a sheer necessity), and if I need to use the toilet, I better plan that carefully, because one flush is all I get. Suddenly, the shape of my day was being formed in my mind, and it was not pretty. The dread of being inconvenienced settled in.

Then, a thought occurred, "just turn it on again." Water gushed out past the air pocket, and all suddenly seemed well with the world once again. Then, I felt the Holy Spirit nudge me, "Remember your devotion this morning?" Now this question was slightly humorous to me because it was literally a minute or two ago that I read my devotion on my phone when I first woke up. It talked about looking for signs in the natural to understand and confirm what the Lord is doing spiritually. How soon we forget.

The Lord reminded me that He is Living Water. He is my well-spring of life. John 7:3-8 says, "Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

I thought about the work that God wanted to do in me. He has lately convicted me about negative thoughts and words. Complaining to be more specific. Many of the dry places that I am experiencing are a direct result of my words. We expand the length of the dessert by miles with the utterances from our heart. Each negative word accumulates like grains of sand in our spirit. The result is spiritual barrenness.

Proverbs 4:23 says, "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life."

What always amazes me about my husband is the way he responds when I complain. Adam carries a quiet wisdom and discernment that speaks loudly and powerfully to me. Even when I complain, he simply listens (without criticism) and either says, "What can I do to make you happy?" or simply, "I love you." His compassion displaces my complaint.

If your spouse is struggling with something, do not condemn, simply listen. Chances are, there is a deeper root issue that only God can address. Your role is simply to show mercy and compassion.

Of course, God does have a sense of humor, and will use anything or anybody to get our attention. We were at Publix last night, and Adam asked one of the associates who was stocking groceries how he was doing. He replied, "I can't complain. And even if I did, what good would it do?"

I silently replied, "I think I got the message."

Activate God's blessings in your life and marriage. Turn on the faucet of Living Water that dwells inside of you, and watch your dry places come to life. It is HIM who we thirst for...always.


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Something is Missing

After a long Monday, my husband and I picked up some groceries at our local supermarket. By the time we got home, it was about two hours past our usual dinner time. Exausted, I said to my husband, "It's a pizza night." My husband and I quickly unloaded the grocery bags and I preheated the oven to "pizza temperature." I opened up the freezer, only to discover a lone salmon staring back at me (he didn't even blink).

"Adam!" I called out into the other room. "Can you check to see if we left the pizza in the trunk? It's not in the freezer."

My logical husband asked, "Check the receipt to make sure it got scanned."

I fished the receipt out of the bottom of my purse, and sure enough, our $3.99 pizza was in the middle of the itemized list.

Adam checked the trunk, only to find nothing.

Letting out a sigh of frustration I announced, "Hope you like salmon!"

Adam pulled out his cell phone to call the manager at the supermarket to explain the case of the disappearing pizza and get a credit next time we came in.

After we ate our last-minute dinner of salmon pasta, Adam turned on praise and worship music. I began to feel that our seemingly trite pizza incident carried a much deeper spiritual meaning.

I began pondering the emptiness that often attacks one or both spouses at different points in marriage. When you feel empty, there is a gnawing hunger and longing for something to fill it. Human nature tells us to look to our partner to fill the spaces in our hearts.

I have learned that somehow in relationships, we lose all sense of logic. Two empty people cannot possibly fill each other. In math, we know that zero + zero = you guessed it, zero.

And yet, we invariably seek what we can receive from our spouse rather than what we can give.

I thought about what a waste it was to pay for a pizza that we could not enjoy. It is so easy to recognize waste in the natural. Then a chord was struck deep inside of me, "What are we wasting spiritually?"

God paid the price of sin in full when He sent His perfect Son from heaven to die on the cross to save us. However, many individuals and marriages walk though each day empty and broken.

How do emerge from our beggarly state? We must call forth the riches of the kingdom. When we noticed our grocery bag was empty, Adam had to call the manager to claim our credit. In the same respect, we must call on God for His mercies to fill our lives and our marriages.

The fruit of the Spirit is always available to us at any given moment. Galatians 5:22-23 says, "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law." (NIV)

If there is no law against such things, there is no restriction, or limitation. Jesus is our Tree of Life, Who we can call upon at any moment of the day. Whenever something feels like it is "missing,"  all we have to do is call upon His Name. Perhaps it is our old wineskin that leaks the continual flow of blessings in our new prophetic season. Mark 2:22 says "And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and wineskins will be ruined. No, he pours new wine into new wineskins." (NIV)

Many of us our sitting on promises and prophecies that God is longing to fulfill. God wants our emptiness to be translated into expectation. God wants us to shed the old wineskin, which is based on the law, and give us a new wineskin that is based on grace. Our old wineskin is filled with holes that are marked by strife, condemnation, and performance. The new wineskin is shaped only by grace. Praise God, we are REDEEMED!!

Only He can create something out of nothing. He is faithful to fill your heart with everything you are longing for. Ask God to shed the old wineskin in your life and in your marriage so that He can give you new life in overflowing abundance.






Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Letting Him Lead

"Marriage is not a ritual or an end. It is a long, intricate, intimate dance together and nothing matters more than your own sense of balance and your choice of partner." ~Amy Bloom

Just like a dance, God designed marriage for one person to lead and the other to follow. Although this subject stirs controversy and confusion in many, God's plan is still best! Invite the Holy Spirit to be the music that determines each step you take in your marriage. If God is leading your husband, you can trust your husband to lead you. Pray that your husband will be sensitive to the Holy Spirit's direction, and step into the heartbeat of heaven.

For a little over a year, I have been praying for my husband about some decisions he was facing. During this past season we have faced some stagnancy and needed breakthrough in different areas. I would pray to God for hours and then one day I felt God say, "Let him lead!." (Funny thing is I never expected to hear this!) Sometimes I pray fervently, but forget to listen to the answer. I realized that my stubbornness and tendency to control were part of the problem. God had been leading Adam in a different direction and I had been stepping on his feet! God placed me with an amazing Christian man who has a vision for our lives. Adam hears God's voice. I think a lot of times a wife will cry out to the Lord for a spiritual leader, but cannot recognize that she already has one. We have to be willing to follow. Now my prayer is that God will make me the wife that I need to be for Adam. It is so important to pray the will of God. Not from a place of emotion, though emotion may follow. As soon as I let him lead, we began to see breakthrough and acceleration. The most effective prayers come from a place of spiritual surrender. And the most beautiful dances flow from seamless unity.

If you have troubles letting your husband lead, ask God to show you the root of the problem. I remember watching America's Funniest Home Videos when I was little. The one that stuck out in my mind the most was this couple at the altar on their marriage day. The wife was reciting her vows line by line. The minister got to the part, "Do you promise to love, honor, and obey?" The bride's eyes widened and she furrowed her brow in shocked disbelief. She paused, repeating the last word back to the minister, "Obey?" The whole congregation starting howling laughing. I know in our culture today, this is interpreted as a domineering, out-dated marital notion. However, I believe that your willingness to "obey" your husband reflects a lot about the unity of your marriage. Before you get offended...please follow. If the husband truly loves his wife as Christ loves the church, he is going to do what is in her best interest. From this place of unconditional love and sacrifice, it is easy to"obey" because you are of like mind and spirit. Now don't get me wrong. I believe that each decision should be discussed openly by husband and wife. My point is, if God is leading your husband in a direction on a decision and unity is present, it should be easy to follow. If you have had a father or past relationship in which the male abused his role of leader, there is a wound where trust should be. Ask God to heal that wound. Know that God can be trusted. He is a good God. He loves you, protects you and provides for you.

We should desire our earthly marriage to reflect the heavenly union of Christ to the Bride (His church). Think about the spiritual phases of maturation you go through as Christians. The same verse can elicit a different response depending on your walk with Him. Let's look at the verse , John 14:15: "If you love Me, you will obey what I command." Some will read this verse and think that God just wants to control your life, and that Christianity is nothing more than a set of rules. If you read it this way, you do not see God as a loving Father, but as distant and impersonal dictator. Your relationship with God will be one marked by religion/striving which will breed condemnation. Or perhaps you will resist and rebel. Either way, you will experience frustration and a "spiritual standstill." You must receive a revalatory knowledge of breakthrough truth before you can continue on. Further into your walk, you may read this verse and think, I don't understand, and my will is different, but I love You and choose to obey anyway. At this point in your walk, you trust God as your Lord and Savior. The dance may be formal, but trust is beginninig to emerge. However, in the most beautiful depth of the Christian walk, you read this verse and your desires and His desires become one. As the Bride of Christ, God desires His people to read the verse, "If you love Me, you will obey what I command" with the tacit but tangible words of the Holy Spirit resounding back to you..."because I love you." God asks us to obey Him because He loves us. It is for our best interests and for His glory.


♥If your husband is stepping in beat with the rhythm of the Holy Spirit, as you follow, you will truly be swept off your feet!♥

Friday, March 23, 2012

New Life Inside


A couple of days ago the Lord reminded me of the powerful verse, "This is the day which the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24). I decided to speak this verse out loud the moment I opened my eyes. An amazing thing happened. My heart swelled with joy and I felt a sense of expectancy about the day. The circumstances were not particularly different than the day before. However, my attitude was strikingly different.

I had to remind myself that we have a choice each day to embrace the mercies of God. Lamentations 3:22-23 says, "The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning" (NLT). This morning, I opened up my carton of eggs to make breakfast, and was pleasantly surprised to see Psalm 118:24 printed on the upper lid.

I love how God gives us strategically planted prophetic reminders of His truth. God has new life nestled inside each day for you and your marriage. Perhaps you can only see the outer shell of your spouse's heart. Disappointments, stress, or wounds left untreated can form a hardened exterior around your partner's heart. However, this outer shell is much thinner than you might expect. Determine to crack the shell with relentless unconditional love. Love is inherently patient, so determine to love without time tables. True love does not try to trigger or search for the appropriate response from your partner. This can flow naturally from love, but should not be our goal. Love has no agenda.

The enemy's plan is for you to remain isolated from your spouse. The spirit of offense is architecturally designed to keep an external shell of separation around the new life that God has promised for your marriage. Even when emotions shout otherwise, remember God has strategically placed you by your partner's side to actively shatter those walls. If you allow Him, God will do the same work in you that He wants to do in your spouse. Ezekiel 36:26 says, "And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart." Just as you must choose to rejoice in each day that you are given, you must resolve to choose to love your spouse each day. You cannot do it alone. Ask God to help you to be tender and responsive to your spouse's needs. Beneath the surface, there is a new life filled with greater intimacy.






Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Sealing up the Cracks

Yesterday, I mentioned to Adam that our bathtub cauking was eroding. This particular bathroom is upstairs and I was concerned that some water could seep through and corrode the sheet rock and the ceiling below. After work, Adam and I headed to the Home Depot to get the needed supplies. I was amazed at the selection. There must have been about twenty different brands of caulking! He also picked up some fresh knife blades to scrape away the old caulking.

I felt in my spirit that God was highlighting a parallel in the supernatural. This is exactly how the enemy intends to infiltrate Christian marriages. A wide open door of entry would be much too obvious. Instead, the enemy must strategically weaken boundaries over time to gain access. Decay is a gradual process, but the results are the same. The internal structure of a relationship will eventually crumble if left ignored.

One important caulking tip is to completely eliminate the old layer before applying a new one. This is an important step in the operation because if you apply new caulking over the old, it will not last very long. In fact, mold will grow back very fast. Many times, spouses will have arguments and make up, but the underlying issues have not been uncovered. Emotional wounds have "memories," and until forgiveness is freely given, complete healing cannot manifest.

The enemy will also use external forces to chip away at the strength of the marriage bond. Massive amounts of stress and pressure can consume a spouse's schedule. This in turn will reduce the quality time that is so needed to build a successful, intimate marriage. Both partners need to make a conscious effort to establish boundaries and protect time together. Priorities are so important for maintaining a healthy balance. If you do not plan your schedule, and set aside time for each other, your schedule will be planned for you. This is a subtle tactic of the enemy. When both spouses are exhausted, it is easy for the enemy to sneak in. Just as you would schedule a dental appointment, schedule time with your spouse together and make sure that nothing interferes with it.

Ask God to show you the weak points of entry in your marriage. The enemy wants to keep them hidden from your sight, so that you will continue to experience stress, strife, and division. God imparts wisdom to those who ask for it. Through His wisdom, He will give you an eternal perspective to prioritize your day from moment to moment.

Psalm 90:12 says, "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (NKJV)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Overcoming Undeserving

There are so many times in which I simply feel undeserving of love. I have a tendency to be overly sensitive and even self-centered at times. I am also fiercely idealistic, which can result in unrealistic expectations.

Thank goodness, love IS underserving. There is powerful truth in the Swedish proverb, "Love me when I least deserve it, because that's when I really need it." I feel most loved when Adam loves me in spite of my behavior not because of my behavior. In my weaknesses, in my shortcomings, and in my insecurities, Adam continues to love me faithfully. In the presence of love, walls crumble and fear evaporates. One of my favorite verses is I John 4:18, There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love."

If you ask yourself, "What is your greatest fear?" At its very roots, it is most likely that  you fear that you are "unworthy" or "unlovable." Many times the enemy will try to hold me in the shadows of guilt and condemnation or highlight my weaknesses. He accuses me of being "wretched." But, the best thing I can do is agree with him and say YES! I am wretched, but Christ loves me anyways. The startling contrast between our sin and God's holiness makes love powerful!

The lyrics of "Amazing Grace" are so precious to me:

♪Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.♪

♪T'was Grace that taught...
my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear...
the hour I first believed.♪

♪Through many dangers, toils and snares...
we have already come.
T'was Grace that brought us safe thus far...
and Grace will lead us home.♪

♪The Lord has promised good to me...
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be...
as long as life endures.♪

♪When we've been here ten thousand years...
bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise...
then when we've first begun.♪

♫Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me....
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now, I see.♫

Marriage Manna~Always remember, that it is better to love than to be "right!"~

Monday, March 5, 2012

Jubilee

My emailed word of the day is "jubilee." A jubilee means 1. A special anniversary or an event, especially a 50th anniversary (golden anniversary) 2. Rejoicing or celebration

The etymology of the word is Greek, from the Hebrew "yobel," which is a ram's horn trumpet. Traditionally, a jubilee year was announced by blowing a ram's horn. This instrument is used as a prophetic tool to make a divine announcement in the earthly realm. For the believer, the blast of the ram's horn (also known as a shofar) represents the shout of victory over the power of sin and death.

Verses 8-25 of Leviticus describe the year of jubilee.Verses 8-10 read as follows:

8 'And you shall count seven sabbaths of years for yourself, seven times seven years; and the time of the seven sabbaths of years shall be to you forty-nine years. 9 'Then you shall cause the trumpet of the Jubilee to sound on the tenth day of the seventh month; on the Day of Atonement you shall make the trumpet to sound throughout all your land. 10 'And you shall consecrate the fiftieth year, and proclaim liberty throughout all the land to its inhabitants. It shall be a Jubilee for you; and each of you shall return to his possession, and each of you shall return to his family."

On the Day of Atonement, two miraculous things happened. All Hebrew slaves were set free, and all land was returned to the original owner or owner's family. This is significant because for more than 80 years before the Exodus, Israelites were bound by slavery in Egypt without freedom and without posessions. Once they crossed over into the land of Canaan, Joshua divided the land among the tribes and their families. This land became a permanent posession that could never depart from the family. If a man became poor, he could sell part of his land temporarily, but it would always revert to him or his descendants in the year of jubilee.

I love how the Old Testament perfectly parallels with the new Testament. Every symbol and sacrament is divinely inspired to underscore God's amazing love for us. Christ died on the cross not to temporarily free us, but to permanently free us. If you are a Christian who still feels bound or captive by the law of condemnation, it is because you have not fully understood that your identity is in Christ alone. The law of condemnation binds us to the slavery of performance. Once you know your identity is fully in Christ Jesus, you can claim your rightful inheritance.

I believe many marriages suffer from a lack of joy and peace because one or both partners are bound by a spirit of condemnation. Your identity is not in what you do, but in who you are through Him. If you or your spouse simply does not feel "good enough," then you cannot fully receive love. Love is the seed that brings forth every desired fruit of the Spirit. Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

God's perfect atonement through His son Jesus Christ delivers us from indwelling sin. Biblically, the number 50 means jubilee, rest, and deliverance. At the 70th jubilee there were 50 days between the resurrection of Jesus and the glorious manifestation on the day of Penecost. Ask yourself if there is a gap between the promise and the possession. Perhaps you believe in the promises of the Bible, but you aren't experiencing the manifestation in your life or marriage. What fills the gap between the promise and the possession is faith! Ask God to give you a holy expectation, based solely on the finshed work of the cross.

If you long for freedom, rest, and deliverance in your marriage, blow the ram's horn! Declare God's goodness through declarations, sacrificial praise, and thanksgiving in advance and wait on the Lord for His glory and power to manifest.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Happy Leap Year!

I believe in 2012, God wants us to LEAP! This is an appointed season for kingdom acceleration and multiplication. My prayer is that you and your spouse will...

leap for the joy of your salvation...

Psalm 28:7 says, "The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song." (NIV)

take a leap of faith, and conquer the enemy...

Psalm 18:29 says "For by You I can run upon a troop; And by my God I can leap over a wall." (NASB)

embrace total healing by leaping with praise to God...

Acts 3:8 says, "With a leap he stood upright and began to walk; and he entered the temple with them, walking and leaping and praising God." (NASB)

and refuse to allow anything to hinder your walk in the Spirit...

Isaiah 35:6, "Then will the lame leap like a deer, and the mute tongue shout for joy. Water will gush forth in the wilderness and streams in the desert." (NIV)

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Five Principles for Effective Communication

I can never learn enough about communication in marriage. Obviously, the enemy tries to guard communication in marriage with a spirit of confusion. But...God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (I Corinthians 14:33). Peace paves the way for greater understanding and intimacy.

The five principles of effective communication were found on www.christianity.com, which has a treasure trove of articles.

1)    The Principle of First Response- The course of a conflict is not determined by the person who initiates, but by the person who responds.

·         When one spouse starts a conversation that is fueled with strife, the other spouse’s natural tendency is to respond defensively in strife. Although you may feel justified in doing so, it is important to remember that the power rests with the responder.

·         Proverbs 15:1: “A soft answer turns away wrath, But a harsh word stirs up anger.”

·         By following the principle of first response, you can take a poorly spoken comment and redirect it.

2)    The Principle of Physical Touch- It is difficult to respond offensively when you are tenderly touching your spouse.

·         It is difficult to apply this principle AFTER the argument has begun. However, it is a perfect time when you know you are about to sit down and engage in a conversation that may cause tension

·         You know what topics are hot buttons. These topics need to be discussed, but in the right setting.

3)    The Principle of Proper Timing-The success of a conversation can be maximized if the timing of the conversation is carefully chosen.

·         Proverbs 15:23 says, “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth. And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

·         Discuss times that are good for serious talks and be conscientious of times that are not appropriate

4)    The Principle of Mirroring- Understanding can be enhanced if we measure it often through conversation.

·        Repeat back what you believe your spouse’s intent was.

·        Let your spouse clarify what was meant

·        Proverbs 22:17 says, “Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, And apply your heart to my knowledge.”

5)    The Principle of Prayer- Success in communication is more likely when we invite the Holy Spirit to help us and guide us.

·         A recent study has shown that in marriages where couples pray out loud with each other, the divorce rate is less than 1 percent

Monday, February 27, 2012

Defending Marriage

Marriage is sacred institution defined by God. The origins of marriage can be traced back to Genesis.

Genesis 2:22-24 says, 22 Then the rib which the LORD God had taken from man He made into a woman, and He brought her to the man. 23 And Adam said: “This is now bone of my bones And flesh of my flesh.” 24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.’

This passage is echoed in the New Testament to illuminate the definition of Christian marriage.

Matthew 19:4-6 says, And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ 5 “and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

We learn from the Bible that marriage is expressly defined as male joining female. From this exclusive definition, we also understand what it is not.  Although culture has attempted to redefine marriage to include homosexual unions, this is not Biblical. The sacred cannot be re-defined. It is set apart and consecrated by the LORD.
It is our responsibility as Christian citizens to uphold the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which does not recognize same-sex marriages at a federal level.  DOMA is currently under attack by the President, in Congress, and in courts.
Senator Feinstein has proposed a DOMA repeal bill that, if enacted, would remove the only federal law that protects the rights of states to marriage as the union of husband and wife.
Every voice is important in this crucial spiritual battle that has emerged in our nation. Please take action today. Follow the link below to sign a petition to oppose Senator Feinstein’s bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act.
http://www.defenddoma.com/



Friday, February 24, 2012

The Power of a Praying Wife- A MUST READ

One of the first marriage books I read was The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian. Apparently, there is another one out called The Power of a Praying Husband  ♥ (I will have to tell Adam). ♥

Stormie's testimony is so powerful. She effectively demonstrates that submission is not weakness, but rather your greatest strength as a wife. It's not about controlling your husband, but about surrendering and laying down your agenda.

She conveys if you will allow God to change YOU first, He will also flow through your husband, your marriage, and circumstances through Spirit-filled prayers.

She cried out to the Lord from the center of her brokenness and prayed this, "God I can't live this way anymore. I know what You've said about divorce, but I can't live in the same house with him. Help me, Lord."

God not only helped her, he transformed her into a Proverbs 31 wife. Her overcoming testimony of total marriage restoration has become an inspiration to women all around the world.

To read chapter one of The Power of a Praying Wife, click here.

Take a peak at the chapter titles in this book:

Chapter 1: His Wife

Chapter 2: His Work

Chapter 3: His Finances

Chapter 4: His Sexuality

Chapter 5: His Affection

Chapter 6: His Temptations

Chapter 7: His Mind

Chapter 8: His Fears

Chapter 9: His Purpose

Chapter 10: His Choices

Chapter 11: His Health

Chapter 12: His Protection

Chapter 13: His Trials

Chapter 14: His Integrity

Chapter 15: His Reputation

Chapter 16: His Priorities

Chapter 17: His Relationships

Chapter 18: His Fatherhood

Chapter 19: His Past

Chapter 20: His Attitude

Chapter 21: His Marriage

Thursday, February 23, 2012

From Chaos to Creation

Emotional wounding in one or both spouses can create an atmosphere of darkness, confusion, and despair. It is the enemy's strong desire and plan for you to feel swallowed up by emptiness, until your delusion gives way to division. If you passively withdraw and wait for the painful rawness to heal, you might be probing through the darkness for a long time.

God created us in the likeness of His own image (see Genesis 1:27). We must speak into the darkness with the light of our words. Every word we speak has prophetic implication and power. You must speak love, life, and restoration to your marriage even in the midst of your confusion. Resist the temptation to be led by your emotions. Jeremiah 17:9 says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?" (NKJV).

Maybe you have felt depression and despair for so long that you believe it is normal. Perhaps your spouse and you are separated or just simply exist together without the depth of a meaningful relationship. Your words are not bound by geographical location. You can prophesy healing and blessing over your spouse even if he/she is not in the same room or house with you.

When you speak life-infused words out loud, there is an illumination of truth and darkness must separate from the light. In Genesis 1:3 says, "Then God said, "Let there be light"; and there was light." (NKJV). From this place of heavenly perspective, a divine alignment must manifest.

From this place of truth, there must be a separation of soul and spirit. Ask God to help you distinguish the flow of emotions from the flow of Living Water. Genesis 1:7 says, "Thus God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament; and it was so." Many of our emotions can be deceitful because they flow from bitterness and resentment. In contrast, the river of the Spirit brings cleansing, the sweetness of life, and clarity. Through Spirit-led communication with your spouse, you can float above drowning emotions.

From this place of clarity, a new ground of intimacy will emerge. Genesis 1:9 says, "Then God said, 'Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear'; and it was so." From this place of healing, your relationship will gain new stability and reaffirmed commitment. It will be a new territory that your spouse and you can begin to walk out together in unity.